Remember Contraception this Christmas

According to data released by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) there is a significant rise in the number of unplanned pregnancies in January, making it extremely important that women, particularly female students, have access to and use the contraceptive pill during the festive season.

What is the reason for this increase in unplanned pregnancies? Well, two obvious reasons are the festive celebrations that usually include an increased consumption of alcohol and the widespread closure of pharmacies during the holidays.

While unprotected sex should be avoided at all times and condoms should be used whenever possible, accidents can happen, so women are advised to start using contraceptive pills to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies.

There are a wide range of contraceptive pills available using a variety of different hormones at different strengths, and women should consult their GP for advice before visiting a pharmacy and obtaining the right contraceptive pill that suits them best.

Contraceptive pills require diligence on the woman’s part as they must be taken each day at the same time to be completely effective. During the festive celebrations this can be difficult, but women must be aware of the consequences should they not keep to their contraceptive pill schedule and have unprotected sex over the holidays. Aside from pregnancy, there are also sexually transmitted diseases to consider, which can easily be caught through not using a condom.

Alongside contraceptive pills, there are also contraceptive patches which can be used. These work by releasing hormones through the woman’s skin. Women who experience problems taking a pill orally should consider this effective form of contraception. Again, women should consult their GP first before obtaining contraceptive patches from a pharmacy.

Of course, there is the emergency morning-after pill, which must be taken within 72 hours after having unprotected sex, but this should only be used as an emergency last resort. Relying on the emergency morning-after pill is very irresponsible and should not be seen as a safety net allowing a relaxed attitude to the aforementioned other forms of contraception. It is an extremely powerful form of hormonal medication and offers no protection to sexually transmitted diseases.

In short, women should take contraception during the festive season and throughout the rest of the year very seriously and avoid unprotected sex at all times. Falling pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease can have grave consequences for a woman’s health and emotional wellbeing.


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